New Orleans 70.3 Predictions

>> Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Some say this will jinx the whole race. Whatever. I don’t believe that stuff. Here’s what I’m THINKING I can do on Sunday ON A GOOD DAY, comparing my predictions to my past 2 Half IM splits:

1.2 Mile Swim:
- 2007: 44:35
- 2008: 38:13 (maybe a little short)
- NO Prediction: 39:30

56 Mile Bike:
- 2007: 3:05:13
- 2008: 2:54 (short - around 3:00 if correct distance)
- NO Prediction: 2:50 (18.5 mph)

13.1 Mile Run:
- 2007: 1:48
- 2008: 1:53
- NO Prediction: 1:40

- 2007: 9:08 total
- 2008: 7:57 total
- NO Prediction: 9:00

- 2007: 5:47:13
- 2008: 5:33:58 (but a little short overall)
- NO Prediction: around 5:20??

Notes on those splits:
- Bike!?!? I’ve been on my new bike, Goldilocks, for 2 whole outdoor rides. I’ve spent a good amount of time on my trainer and in spin classes, but it’s the bike portion of the day that I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO EXPECT!! Training for a Half IM over the winter in MN leaves many questions.
- In 2008, I did the run in a Grim Reaper outfit, so that’s why my run was 5 minutes slower (even though I was in better running shape). Remember this?

I’d love to PR. I’d LOVE to go sub-5:30. I’d REALLY LOVE to go sub-5:20. I should just make sure to finish the race. A good time would just be icing on the cake.

If I can find a nearby WI-FI spot in NO, I hope to post a few quick posts and photos when we’re down there. So check back Friday through Monday to see what’s going on!! I CAN’T WAIT!!! Wish us all luck!!


Final Big Workouts Before IM NO 70.3

>> Monday, March 30, 2009

Nothing too big to report. I’m tapering. And I’ve been missing some of my taper workouts, but hey, it’s “just taper,” right? (I’ve been busy with teaching things [grading a ton of projects] and house things [remodeling our guest room]). Anyway, here are my “normal” totals from the month of February:

All of February:
- Swim:
9200 yards
- Bike: over 9 hours on trainer/spinning (including a 3:20 spin class)
- Run: 47.5 miles (including a half-marathon)

Compare that with my 2 hardcore weeks of training for IM NO. I told myself the middle 2 weeks of March were my “hit it hard” weeks. Here are the totals from just those weeks:

Middle 2 weeks of March:
- Swim:
7200 yards
- Bike: 3 hours on trainer/spinning and 100 miles outside
- Run: 30 miles

I think I’m ready. I’m pretty sure I can PR, but my main focus is just to finish the race - just get another Half IM under my belt. If I can bust out a nice time, then GREAT! If not, no biggie; I’ll STILL have a fun time (you know me!)! We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

In food-related taper news, last night I grilled up a storm. Here’s my plate loaded with a turkey burger (with cheese, high-quality bacon-bits, grilled orange bell pepper, and lettuce), grilled shrimp (3 kinds: cajun, garlic, and “sandwich seasoning” from Penzeys Spices), a turkey dog, and pasta salad:

(I went back for more pasta salad and a LOT more shrimp!) I also grilled asparagus for the girls, but I won’t touch that stuff with a 10-foot pole.


Best. Swim. Ever.

>> Sunday, March 29, 2009

(I think something like this has happened to everyone. Maybe on a run. Maybe on a ride. Maybe in the pool.)

On Thursday, I hopped in a lane at the pool next to “Mr. has-no-business-wearing-that-nearly-nonexistent-Speedo-at-that-age-with-that-tiny-ass-and-that-big-gut-and-who’s-flip-turns-look-like-murder.” (But who am I to say that last part; I can’t even do flip-turns...) I started out on a 50 lap swim (2500 yards). Mr. tiny-Speedo next to me stopped. Then, I as I was finishing a lap, he started up again. It was like he wanted to race, to prove he could still “hang with the young bucks” or something. He would sometimes do 1 lap, sometimes up to 4, with random lengths of rest in between.

He wasn’t doing regular intervals. He wasn’t doing a “ladder” style workout. I think his sole workout was simply trying to race me.

So I didn’t disappoint.

I pushed a little harder from the start. I KNEW he was pushing me, but I figured I’d allow it, and go for a hard, long swim. “What the heck: if old-Speedo-guy wants to race, we’ll race.”

And wouldn’t you know it, he pushed me to my fastest endurance swim ever!

Here were my last 2 long swims from 2008:

- 11/24/08 - 40 laps in 1:46.7 / 100 yards
- 12/15/08 - 50 laps in 1:47.4 / 100 yards

Then I started doing some speed-work in the pool (with Julia), and my times slowly started getting faster. Here are 5 long swims from this year so far:

- 01/25/09 - 36 laps at 1:44.6 / 100 yards
- 02/04/09 - 50 laps at 1:44.6
- 02/19/09 - 50 laps at 1:45.8
- 03/09/09 - 60 laps at 1:42.9
- 03/19/09 - 44 laps at 1:46.0

So, during the hard, ego-driven swim on Thursday, I KNEW I was holding a decent pace. My sides were getting tight. I was slowly slowing down, not able to keep the early pace. In the end, I finished 50 laps (2500 yards) in 41:27, which was a pace of 1:39.5 / 100 yards!! That’s quite a jump in pace!! Thanks holding-on-to-your-youth-by-wearing-a-tiny-Speedo-even-though-you’re-not-fooling-anyone guy!!! You pushed me to a great swim!

So, have you encountered people like this? Maybe a cyclist that will not leave your draft, so you push harder and harder. Maybe a runner that keeps sprinting ahead of you just to have to walk for a minute before sprinting ahead of you again. I think we’ve all had some sort of encounter like this. Sometimes, it’s just annoying. Sometimes, it pushes us to a great workout!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Oh yeah, ONE WEEK to the inaugural IM NO 70.3!! I forget when my wave starts, but exactly 1 week from now, I think I should be close to exiting the water. Pharmie and I are getting nervous! I recently received an e-mail from the “host bike-shop” saying Goldilocks made the trip just fine and will be waiting for me in transition!!

(p.s. I’m not trying to make fun of people who are a older than me or who aren’t in perfect shape. He was just “that guy” in the tiny Speedo at the Y. If you swim regularly, you’ve seen “that guy.” This is meant in jest, not in spite.)


Friday Funny 29: Evolution

>> Friday, March 27, 2009

I like this one the best.:

All images from There are more of these on that site. It’s a pretty new site, but I think it’s pretty funny!! Check it out...

p.s. I’ve ruled out the Doughnut Run 5K this weekend. I’m just too busy. Maybe next year.

Happy Friday!!


Dead Toe Watch: Day 62

>> Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yep, it’s been 62 days since my SECOND dead toenail appeared. Remember, a toenail on my LEFT foot died during a rough 12 miler a week before the Winter Carnival Half-Marathon. And during the race a few days later, a toenail on my RIGHT foot died.

Here’s what they looked like after a month:

And here’s what they look like today (just over a month from the previous photo):

Eww. Toe Fuzz. Sorry.

You can see the left one has “opened up” and drained out. That happened during the swim of the indoor triathlon a few weeks back (which lead Borsch to say “Eww! I was swimming in your toe-crap trail?!?” - he was sharing a lane with me). I just don’t want to lose them before IM NO 70.3 next weekend!

And if you remember the wager, if I don’t lose any toenails, I get a 30 minute back-rub from my lovely wife, Pharmie. But if I lose 1 or both, she gets a 30 minute back-rub from me. I’m still holding on to hope!!!

(p.s. The “Doughnut Run 5K” that I did last year is THIS SUNDAY!! I’m trying to figure out if I have time to drive 3.5 hours into Iowa for a 5K, race, and then drive back. Anyone interested in hitchin’ a ride if I go? You’ve got to be to my place by 4:30 am if we do this thing!)


I Just Remembered...

>> Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When I was finishing my run at the indoor triathlon a few weeks ago, I grabbed the heart-rate monitor handles on the treadmill so I didn’t collapse when I was finished. The screen immediately started scrolling something like this across it:


I don’t know what my heart-rate was, but I’m sure it was through the roof. And the machine wanted me to stop. But I have a theory: the machines want to keep us from getting TOO fit so that when they start to take over the world, there will be less resistance from super-fit humans.

That’s my theory and I’m stickin’ to it.

But maybe I’ve seen “Terminator 2” too many times...


Virgin Athlete Contest Winners!

>> Monday, March 23, 2009

The votes are in! A total of 993 votes were cast, and here are the final numbers:

The top “local winner” is Anastasia with her story of her first 2 triathlons (where she ran out of T2 with her helmet on AFTER doing the bike loop TWICE!). By the way, she just started blogging - click on her name to stop by and say hi!

Judi came in third overall with her story of kicking her heroin addition while becoming addicted to running:

Gabriel came in second overall with his story of being out-kicked by the person who he had just tried to cheer on to get going again:

And Big Mike took first place with his inspirational story of losing a combined 365 pounds along with his wife, while catching the “triathlon bug:”

Thanks to everyone for voting, and a BIG THANKS to everyone who shared their great stories!! And an EVEN BIGGER THANKS to Drymax Socks and Charities Challenge for sponsoring this super fun event!! They are getting ready to send some great prizes to the winners: 6 pairs of Drymax to Judi, 12 pairs to Gabriel, and 24 pairs to Big Mike! And Charities Challenge will be giving a free race entry, race shirt, and special finish-line announcement to Anastasia during the MN RRCA Championship 5K on April 4th!


(If you missed the Top 10 stories and have no idea what I’m taking about, click here to read the entries. They’re SOO good!)


Week of Workouts

>> Sunday, March 22, 2009

- Lift weights (upper body)
- Core

Notes: Then, Pharmie and I got a massage in the afternoon! It was my birthday present!

Tuesday: BRICK!
- 60 mile bike (18.4 mph average)
- 6 mile run (in 39:14)

Notes: I posted photos and details of this BIG day last week. Click here if you missed the post.

- Core

- Swim 2,200 yards (in 38:53)
- Lift weights (upper body)

Notes: The swim was half-Ironman distance. It was slower than I would have liked (last week, I posted about 3,000 yards that I did in under 1:43/100; this swim was shorter, but slower too: 1:46/100). I may still have been a little fatigued from the big brick to days before. Still, I’m hoping this means I can keep my half-IM swim in open water somewhere around 40 minutes. We’ll see (IN 2 WEEKS!!!).

- Run 11.0 in 1:14:11

Notes: Like my 8 miler last week, I didn’t want to go TOO hard and hurt myself. I ran it around 85-90% of effort. It was chilly and rainy: the EXACT same conditions as when I first hurt my achilles 11 months ago on a 10 mile run. So I planned on doing 8, and I figured I’d add more on to the end if I still felt OK.

I ran the first 5 miles with a 7:03/mile average. After 8 miles, my overall average was down to 6:53. I tacked on 3 more miles for a total of 11, and finished with a 6:44 / mile average. Nice run. Oh, and it was only supposed to rain for a few minutes (according to the weather guy), but it rained the whole time! I was soaked 2 miles into the run. Here I am after finishing:

I had to have my wind-breaker zipped up all the way or the freezing rain (which turned to sleet for a while) would have been too cold. I was pretty sweaty under my little coat:

(Yes, I'm wearing a cotton shirt. No, I don't know why...)

- Lift weights (upper body AND legs)
- Core
- Leg exercise (from my old PT)

- Off!

Notes: We’ve actually been working on remodeling our guest room over this past week, and we’re trying to get that nearly wrapped up. Back to painting!!

I’ll be back tomorrow with the results of the “Tales of a Virgin Athlete” Contest! That sure was FUN!!


Friday Funny 28: One of the FEW Ways I Embarrass

>> Friday, March 20, 2009

I don’t embarrass very easily. If you’ve met me, I bet you knew that. If you haven’t met me, reading a bit of my blog should tell you that too. But there is one consistent way that I get embarrassed.

I have 25 pairs of boxers that I regularly wear.

That’s not the embarrassing part.

The embarrassing part is I suddenly become hyper-aware of what boxers I’m wearing when I’m changing next to a bunch of men at the Y. I don’t want guys my age to think I’m a weirdo. And I don’t want old guys thinking I’m some kind of freak.

The vast majority of my boxers tend to call out: “WEIRDO!” I got out all of my underwear last night. Here’s what I’ve got:

Here’s my “cartoon collection.” Spongebob, Stewie, Tom and Jerry (Tom's on the ass), and Woody:

Here are my 2 Simpson’s boxers:

Here are my “gamer” boxers. Yes, I have TWO Nintendo boxers, and 1 pair of Pac-Man:

Random 4. Pigs, “Property of City Hospital,” Dr. Seuss, and rubber duckies:

Another random 4. Playing cards, TVs, monkeys (with bananas), and smiley faces:

Why in the world do I have camouflaged boxers?!?!? When will these come in handy?!?

My folks got these in Mexico for me. They are REAL comfortable, but I have no idea what it says on the leg. Can someone translate for me?

I have 2 “cereal” boxers. Fruit Loops and Raisin Bran Crunch (the Raisin Bran ones say “Breakfast is Back” across the ass):

I even have 2 pairs for minor holidays (which I wear year-round). Here are my Valentines boxers and my Halloween boxers:

Finally, near the bottom, I FOUND MY 2 PAIRS OF “REGULAR” BOXERS!!

So sometime, if we ever meet, you can ask what boxers I’m wearing. I’ll gladly show you. Right now (with my current underwear selection), there’s a 92% chance that it will be something fun. That’s also a 92% chance that I’ll be freaking out the old guys in the locker room at the Y.

(Remember, voting closes tomorrow in the "Tales of a Virgin Athlete" Contest. Click here to read the entries. Then cast your vote before 10 pm Central time tomorrow night!)


“30th Challenge” and “Gas Station Pump-Up”

>> Thursday, March 19, 2009

Here are 2 more stories that the jurors enjoyed, but they didn’t quite make it into the top 10. These are both from tri-bloggers, so you might already know them...

Kevin’s Story

In 2007, I turned 30. I knew I wanted to make 30 a big year. One day I was reading the local paper and heard about a new triathlon that was being held close to my house. I knew right away this would be my big challenge for 30. That morning, my stomach was all in knots and I was afraid of how I would do. I set my bike up in transition and paced through the transition area till it was close to time to line up. I was so nervous. When I walked down to the water, my jaw dropped in shock. The water was so choppy that there were white caps on the water. I had practiced a couple open water swims, but never in such choppy water. I was a little worried, but I knew I was a strong swimmer. The swim wasn’t bad, but I swam in too fast. I stood up and ran out of the water and had to grasp for breath. I learned two big things on that first swim. Tinted goggles are a must and don't sprint in so hard that you're out of breath when you stand up.

As soon as I crossed out of T1, several people were shouting something at me. As I was getting ready to mount my bike, I realized what it was. I had put my helmet on backwards! I was so embarrassed. Of course my wife was right there to get plenty of shots of me fumbling with my helmet to put it on the right way. Overall, my race was uneventful. I had such a great time and had learned so much about myself and the sport of triathlon even if I did embarrass myself.

And here’s an “unauthorized” close-up of the helmet still on backwards:

When I was getting ready to launch this contest, I KNEW I could find someone who had put their helmet on backwards!! I've seen it done before! Thanks for sharing Kevin!

Tri-Marni’s Story

I raced my first three triathlons on a brand new hybrid bike with toe clips and no idea how to change my gears. I just loved my bike!

In 1/06 I participated in my first marathon. My experience with marathon training was painful and I was nutritionally ignorant. When it came time to race the marathon I was really excited and scared! I loaded up with carbs the night before and tapered for almost two weeks for the marathon. Although I bonked in the race, I finished in 3:38. With no running background, my “runner” friends told me I qualified for Boston. What’s in Boston?

After the Boston marathon, it was time to take my triathlons to another level. I bought a Trek tri-bike for IMFL 70.3 (2006). For over a year, I didn’t know how to change a flat, I was scared to clip in my pedals, I didn’t use my aerobars and I didn’t change gears. My husband is a bike tech and cat 1 rider and I’m ashamed that I then, had to go to the bike shop to pump up my tires. I had no spare-tire kit on my bike, I had one pair of cycling shorts and one jersey. I once took my bike to a gas station to try to pump my tires by myself, with air from the car pump!

To some people, qualifying for Boston and Kona after my first marathon and IM may seem amazing. For me, consistent training, progress and a finisher medal keeps me going as a triathlete and when I started, I clearly knew nothing about triathlons, sports nutrition or endurance running. Who goes to a gas station to pump bike tires??

(Side note: March is National Nutrition Month, and Marni [who has a Masters in Exercise Physiology and is a Certified Sports Nutritionist] is spending the week talking about nutrition on her blog. Stop by and check it out.)

If you’d like to read the Top 10 and vote for your favorite (you can vote for up to 3), THERE’S STILL TIME!! Please CLICK HERE to check them out!! The poll will automatically close at 10 pm Central time on Saturday night! The winners will be announced next week!!


I’m a Disrespectful Jerk

>> Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My last post was about how great it was to go 60 miles on Goldilocks (my new bike) during a nice 45-55 degree day. A few posts earlier, I wrote about my first outdoor ride of the year and how giddy I was to be out there.

So what do I do to show my bike how much I care?

I dismantle her and throw her in a box.

That’s right. My bike, Goldilocks, and Pharmie’s bike, Tony, are currently sitting at our local bike store, waiting to get disassembled and shipped to New Orleans for our Half Ironman. I feel like such an ass. I’m treating my bike like a cheap hooker.

The good news is that I spent the morning/afternoon cleaning all the grime off BOTH of our bikes. I washed, degreased, wiped, washed again, dried, and finally lubed both of them. Here’s Tony and Goldilocks after a few hours of love:

Remember, here’s what my chainstay looked like after my first messy ride a few days back, and before my LONGER messy ride:

After the cleaning today, the frame and the chain are back in tip-top shape:



You guys have a safe trip!! See you in just over 2 weeks!! Oohh, I'm gonna miss them!....


Throwin’ A Brick At You!

Before I could go on my last long ride before IM New Orleans 70.3 yesterday, I needed to do a few things to my bike. During my virgin ride on Goldilocks on Sunday (see 2 posts down), I realized that the aero bars were tipped a little lower than I would have liked (tipped forward too much), and the aero bar pads were tilted a bit to the outside.

Here are the aero bars once I got one taken care of. The one on the right is good (aero bar pivoted up, and aero pad tilted more to the inside). It’s tough to see, but I thought this was a pretty big difference:

Then I took off my reflectors. I’m trying to think of the nicest way to say this... but reflectors are for pussies. EVERYONE needs to wear a helmet, but the reflectors gotta go. (Right?) Here are my reflectors off my bike:

I also mounted a CO2 pump and tightened both sets of brakes. When I took off my water bottle holder to mount the pump, I was thrilled to see this nice detail:

What does that photo show? The paint job goes over the threads in my frame. Sweet! (This might be pretty standard, but it’s the first I’ve noticed this on my bike, so I thought it was “hot sh*t!!”)

So I got dressed and headed out. It was hazy, moist, and 45 degrees. That’s a little chilly to ride in. But I didn’t need my skull cap or gloves, so it wasn’t TOO bad. After a few miles, I realized that my aero pad was STILL shifting downward, so I figured I’d better stop and take care of it. Here I am about 18 miles into the ride when I hopped off my bike:

Here’s the “snot-rocket” that I had shot a few miles before, but I missed and it hit my leg:

(Notice the Drymax Socks!!...)

I grabbed one last photo of Goldilocks all outfitted for the ride...

...then I looked around, saw no one, peed a little, and hopped back on my bike. I headed towards home. But a few miles from home, I turned around AGAIN, so I could do a sort of double out-and-back ride along the Greenway and the Cedar Lake Trail. I wanted to hit 60 miles!! Here were my averages at my turn-arounds:

- Mile 18: 18.0 mph
- Mile 31: 18.4 mph
- Mile 43: 18.3 mph
- End of trail (mile 58): 18.5 mph
- Home (up 2 big hills, mile 60): 18.4 mph

60 miles in 3:14:40
(And I did the first 56 miles in just under 3:02...)

That’s a DECENT pace for me!! Especially in 17 mph winds! And besides that quick bike repair at mile 18, I was never off my bike until the finish! This ride was the good sort of solid effort that I needed leading into IM NO 70.3!

But it had been a little bit of a chilly day. It started out around 45, and it was around 55 when I finished (and windy the whole time). So I was snotting all over the place. Here’s my left sleeve...

...and my right sleeve:

Here I am, feeling good when I was done:

I WASN’T DONE! I took 9 minutes to quickly slowly change into running shorts and pee. Then I was off on a run.

The bottom of my feet were REALLY numb from the bike shoes, so I thought the first mile or 2 could be rough. But I got through them OK. I ended up running 6 miles in 39:14 (which is 6:32 / mile pace). Oh, and I got REALLY hot on the run, so I ran the last 3 miles topless. Yep, mark your calendar. St. Patty’s Day 2009: Steve’s first topless run of the year:

After the run!
Notice the “vein of approval” in my forehead.

Sorry for my paleness. It IS Minnesota after all...

The good news is that I got through a GREAT brick workout yesterday!! The bad news was that I was “bonking” at the very end of my 6 mile run. I needed to eat more on the bike. Note to self.

I’ll be back tomorrow with 2 new “previously unpublished” stories from the “Tales of a Virgin Athlete” Contest. They’re 2 good ones! In the meantime, please CLICK HERE to read the Top 10 stories and to vote for your favorite story in the “Tales of a Virgin Athlete” Contest! Thanks everyone!


Sara, I Can See Your Crack...

>> Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This week, I’d like to share a story or 2 that DIDN’T make the cut in the “Tales of a Virgin Athlete.” The jurors said they had a hard time narrowing 34 down to 10, and they said that they LOVED all the stories! Here’s one that didn’t quite make it, but still got a larf (yes, “larf”) otta me:

“My Swimsuit Was See-Through: Things I Wish I Knew” by Sara Cox Landolt

Series: Things I Wish I Knew As a New Triathlete

I was staring at a woman's bottom. Squirming in my seat, I looked away from the big screen, embarrassed. I looked up and it was still there. While this opening scene worked for Scarlett Johansson in the film Lost in Translation, there's no way I'd do something similar, as a normal married mother of three. No way.

Well. I didn't know it, but each time I swam, like Scarlett, I was semi-flashing my behind through the worn-out sheer fabric of a well-used swimsuit. And no one told me. I had to wonder how long this unintentional display had been going on.

As a triathlete I love to swim. I'm not fast. I don't flip turn. But I adore swimming. During my third pregnancy I'd combine water aerobics with a short swim before or after class. I loved being in the water.

I first thought about my swimsuit's rear view during a water aerobics class. Mostly older women participated. Many ladies would do their own thing, talking right over the instructor. One morning I saw a lady getting out of the pool and I gasped, I could see her backside, almost 100%! Did she not know? Did she not care?

I didn't immediately make the connection, it took some time. And then I thought, "What about me? What about my swimsuit?" Yep. After a close inspection in the locker room, I determined it was. There was a vertical sheer swatch right down the center of where you'd want it least.

Some advice for new or current triathletes: Check your behind. Then with appropriate swimwear in hand hit the pool and enjoy one of the most rewarding sports on earth--triathlon!

Ha! I love that the photo she sent with her entry was from Lost in Translation!! I think that story is something we can ALL relate too. It’s happened to my wife. And it happened a little to me with my first Speedo Jammer. Unfortunately, Sara’s entry was short of making it to the Top 10 “Virgin Athlete” stories. Dang.

If you’d like to read the Top 10 and vote for your favorite (you can vote for up to 3), please CLICK HERE to check them out!!

OK, I’m off to try to get in a 55-60 mile ride! Wish me luck!! (I'll be back tomorrow with how the ride went, and back in 2 days with 2 more stories from the contest!)


8 Days of Workouts!!

>> Monday, March 16, 2009

The inaugural “Ironman New Orleans 70.3” is now just under 3 weeks away, and I told myself that last week and this week are my 2 big weeks of training. Last, week, I did pretty good:

- Indoor Triathlon

Notes: Count that as a “speed day.” I didn’t do anything for very long, just some hard swimming, hard spinning, and hard running. (Scroll down to my Monday and Tuesday posts last week if you missed them.) Here’s a photo from me on the “bike” portion of the day:

- 60 lap swim (3000 yards) in 51:28

Notes: That was my longest swim in a year, AND it was my fastest pace in a swim over 30 laps! Lately, my pace has slowly been getting a little faster. During 36-50 laps swims, I’ve had a few that were 1:44.X / 100 yards. This 60 lap swim was 1:42.9 / 100 yards. I completely bypassed the 1:43’s!! Solid swim!

- Lift weights (upper body)
- Core
- 110 minutes spinning

Notes: I lifted weights early afternoon, went to one of my colleges to work on midterms for an hour, and then came back to the Y an hour before a spin class. I spun for 50 minutes on my own, and then worked right into the hour-long spin class.

- Off

Notes: Wednesday is my huge teaching day this semester (St. Paul in the AM, MPLS in the afternoon, and back to St. Paul for tutoring in the later PM). I work it into my workouts as my “rest day.”

- Run 8.0 in 55:20
- Crossfit-style workout

Notes: I just wanted to run an “easy” run. I ran it at about 85% instead of my normal 95%. I checked the time from my 8 mile run just after Christmas (as I was training for a half-marathon). I ran that run nearly all out. And it was EXACTLY the same time. Then: running all out. Now: easy. Sweet.

Then I came home and did “Powerhouse Hit The Deck.” I first did this workout about 3 months ago. It’s a series of cards with different exercises on them. I did all 30 cards for 30 seconds each. Nice burn.

Friday: BRICK!
- 4x500s in the pool
- 60 minutes spinning

Notes: I did the 500s with about 45 seconds rest. I averaged about 8:12 / 500 yards. Then I took 8 minutes to dodge the naked, hairy, old men in the locker room, fill up some water bottles, and hop on a spin bike. I spun pretty hard for 60 minutes in the spinning studio alone (except for when the maintenance man came in to work on some broken bikes).

Saturday: Speed Saturday 07
- 3x1600 meters
- Lift weights (upper body)
- Core

Notes: Mindy was itching to get on the track. So I put out the call, and we got 6 people down there for a Sat a.m. workout!

Jen, Will, Eric, Mindy, Jeremy, and I

The track had a few lanes free of snow, and there were just 2 icy spots that had to be dodged:

So we all started running. Here’s Mindy, Jen, and Jeremy. Will is bringing up the rear (but he started later - he’s NOT slow):

Here’s Mindy and Eric:

Jeremy grabbed my camera, and snapped a photo of me half way into my last interval:

I WANTED to run 4 intervals, but I could only gut-out 3 (with 90 seconds rest between). I ran them in 5:47, 5:41, and 5:38 (average of 5:42 / 1600).

Then I headed to the Y for a good workout. Good day.

- 37.5 mile outdoor ride!!

Notes: It was 50 yesterday!! What a day for my first outdoor ride of the year on MY NEW BIKE! I got a bunch of stuff ready to throw in a little cheap backpack:

(Yeah, I didn’t even take my new pump out of the packaging. I was TOO FREAKIN’ EXCITED!)

Here I am before heading out for my virgin ride on Goldilocks (yeah, I think her name is "Goldilocks"):

I was SO HAPPY to be riding outside! Here I am 3 miles into the ride, and you can SMELL how giddy I am!!

The Greenway Trail was PRETTY WET! There were a ton of huge puddles that completely covered the trail:

15 miles later, guess what? I was still giddy to be riding!

Visor with glasses: it’s a good look, right?... Right?...

It was windy (15 mph), so I was fighting the wind on the way out. At one point, my average was up to 19.0 mph, which was sweet! By the time I was done with 37.5 miles, my average had dropped to 18.2, but I was still happy to have been outside.

Once I got home, my bike no longer looked brand new:

So that’s been my last 8 days! I have a lot more to do this week before starting to taper for a bit. I’m thinking I’ll shoot for about a 60 mile ride tomorrow!!

Please CLICK HERE (or scroll down to the post below) to vote for your favorite story in the “Tales of a Virgin Athlete” Contest! There are some GREAT stories in there!



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